Rep. Denny Heck and New Democrat Coalition releases new report on housing crisis
Washington, D.C. – Today, the New Democrat Coalition’s Housing Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. Denny Heck, Stephanie Murphy, Scott Peters, and Juan Vargas and NDC Chair Jim Himes released a preliminary findings report on America’s Housing Crisis: Missing Millions of Homes.
The struggles shared with the Coalition by constituents, the frustration voiced by homebuilders, the concern expressed by city and county leaders, and the disappointing data presented by economists all tell distinct aspects of the same story: housing is increasingly scarce and increasingly expensive. In the richest country in the world, millions of people are struggling to meet their most basic needs.
“We set out to understand why housing costs were rising, but the answer was quickly clear. We have far too few homes. As a result, prices are being bid up, housing consumes an ever-increasing part of family budgets, and those without means are being forced into homelessness. We must recognize this as a crisis and find a way to change public policy to dramatically increase construction and build millions more homes,” said Congressman Denny Heck.
“Access to affordable housing leads to lower crime rates and a higher quality of life for all because a good home is the foundation for a good life,” said Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy. “Time and again, my constituents tell me that the lack of affordable housing options is one of the most pressing problems they face, particularly in a rapidly-growing area like central Florida. I’m proud to have worked with the New Democratic Coalition’s Housing Task Force to identify the causes of the housing shortage and to start developing solutions that improve the quality of life in our communities.”
“San Diegans know that the housing market squeezes families’ budgets and inhibits economic opportunity and this timely report shows the same trends happening in other cities with fast-growing economies. It also confirms what we’ve known in San Diego for years: we need to build more homes and incentivize affordable housing. I look forward to working on policy principles to address this housing crisis in San Diego and across the country,” said Congressman Scott Peters.
“Sadly, it is increasingly difficult for families to find affordable housing and homelessness is on the rise. In the United States, you shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on your table and paying your rent on time. In Congress, we must take concrete steps to address the lack of affordable housing and make progress to help solve the homelessness crisis in our country. As a member of the Housing Task Force, I will continue working with my colleagues to craft legislative solutions that will help combat homelessness and improve affordable housing options for every American,” said Congressman Juan Vargas.
This Congress, the Coalition established the Housing Task Force, which is co-chaired by Reps. Denny Heck, Stephanie Murphy, Scott Peters, and Juan Vargas to look at the entire housing ecosystem and identify solutions to rising housing costs. It builds on previous New Dem efforts to devise reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but it covers the full scope of federal housing policy, including housing subsidies offered through HUD and incentives in the tax code. The Housing Task Force conducts its work through briefings and meetings with stakeholders, economists, academic experts and policymakers.
The Task Force plans to release a second report with policy recommendations to address the lack of affordable housing options later this year.